Photo: Rakuten Chairman & CEO Hiroshi "Mickey" Mikitani (center) and other executives pose with the fresh hires.

Each year at the beginning of April, Japanese companies welcome hundreds of recent university graduates to their workforces – from around Japan and the world. Rakuten’s official welcome events were held on April 1. Following are some highlights from the day:

 

Mickey welcomed the group with a speech, touching upon his own career, how he came to found Rakuten, and the history of the company. He stressed the importance of looking to the future when thinking about business - of thinking about how specific industries will look 10 years down the line.

Mickey welcomed the group with a speech, touching upon his own career, how he came to found Rakuten, and the history of the company. He stressed the importance of looking to the future when thinking about business – of thinking about how specific industries will look 10 years down the line.

"I want to create a better world through internet services," said Rio Otsuka, who represented the group giving remarks at the ceremony.

“I want to create a better world through internet services,” said Rio Otsuka, who represented the group by giving remarks at the ceremony.

"Keep challenging." Takuya Fukuda is looking forward to valuable experiences and personal growth while at Rakuten.

“Keep challenging.” Takuya Fukuda is looking forward to valuable experiences and personal growth while at Rakuten.

"Make a difference." A desire to empower the world brought Ilya Shirokoradyuk to Rakuten. He was attracted to the company's global side. "It's not a typical Japanese company."

“Make a difference.” A desire to empower the world brought Ilya Shirokoradyuk to Japan from Russia. He was attracted to Rakuten’s global side: “It’s not a typical Japanese company.”

"Mind the gap, fill the gap!" An entrepreneurial mindset like this one make Kaede Morita a perfect fit for the Rakuten business environment.

“Mind the gap, fill the gap!” An entrepreneurial mindset like this one make Kaede Morita a perfect fit for the Rakuten business environment.

"Achieve my goals." Echoing one of Rakuten's five brand concepts, "Get Things Done," Yuto Yoshida is bringing his complete commitment to his Rakuten career.

“Achieve my goals.” Echoing one of Rakuten’s five brand concepts, “Get Things Done,” Yuto Yoshida is bringing his complete commitment to his Rakuten career.

The beginning of the financial year (April 1) is also the traditional season for welcoming new university graduates to Japanese corporate life, and local media come out to cover the day's events.

The beginning of the financial year (April 1) is also the traditional season for welcoming new university graduates to Japanese corporate life, and local media come out to cover the day’s events.

The new graduates wrote their goals on colored paper, and coordinated at the ceremony to spell the letters "R20," celebrating Rakuten's 20 years of business.

The new graduates wrote their goals on colored paper, and held them up to form the letters “R20,” celebrating Rakuten’s 20th anniversary.